I got home today and began cutting onions to make myself cry. Anything to feel something.
You sit down at your desk today and look a cold, white empty document. The words on the page continue to be more real than I am. You sit down to write something, to feel something. When in reality, you cannot seem to make sense of a thing, when you have been the furthest away from your home than you have ever been. When in reality, you lose all your friends over again and forget how to speak, forget how to answer what your name means. When in reality, you cannot seem to figure out if you are wanted in a situation or not. When in reality you wear your mother’s perfume and your father’s shirt and drive your sister’s car because you miss them more than you will admit.
The reality of my dreams is more real than reality itself where you begin to cut onions because you spent all of today’s lecture thing about the nice woman in the corner, the one who is on your mind constantly. You see, she is always on my mind, but in reality – I know nothing about her, or what she likes or who she is or if she wants me go to away.
You see, I don’t need onions to make me cry because I know that when June comes around again, all I will do is cry. Again.
“What is your name?” My words are more real than I am. You begin to describe yourself by your routines, your habits, by the time you wake up in the morning. When in reality, your notion of the self is unstable, and sometimes non-existent. All you are, is the means by which you describe yourself. All you are, are the attributes you believed you lost – the tremoring hands and legs, the stutter in your speech when you are asked to describe yourself. All semblance of identity at this stage has been lost – crumbled, destroyed.
I wish to crumble into myself, give up on the search for the self, because truly there is no self of my own left anymore. There is nothing inside, only my feelings, my stages, and states of being. And all the friends I have lost. But no identity, no one person. And my name? It contains nothing. It is only empty.
Also read: ‘Safe Spaces’
You tell yourself that you hide yourself from the world, but in reality, you are invisible. You leave your friends and wonder where they went. And you keep going back to one friend who makes you feel like you’ve been cutting onions.
My reality is unstable, my legs are unstable. I wish to bother myself with bigger questions that lie at the bottom of my gut such as what it means to be a woman. You remind yourself, that you are not the centre of everything. That every single thing you write need not be about yourself. Yet you cannot get out of your own head. Yet I cannot break your mind open, sleep inside it and write poetry.
You wonder why at 20 years old you feel like you have no hold on reality. All you have is a clock. And time. And a weak voice that to accompany it all. But in reality, every single day becomes shorter and shorter and more cumbersome. Every day becomes more monotonous, and you find yourself making the same mistakes again and again and again. So, you go home again, and begin cutting onions.
Ansuya Mansukhani is an undergraduate student of Liberal Arts in Pune. She expresses herself through writing and enjoys reading, cooking, photography and everything ordinary.